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Using social media influencers as brand ambassadors

Christine Donaldson

At today’s Rethink conference in Stockholm, Christine Donaldson talked about her experience as an Oakley Women Brand Ambassador. Christine who is a musician and a skier uses social media to create a unique online persona in order to garner the attention of an online audience. She started using Youtube for her music and Instagram to show her passion for skiing. When she began to establish herself as a social influencer, brands began to approach her with suggestions of partnerships. Today she is an ambassador not only for Oakley Women but also for other brands.

For someone who is interested in building a personal brand her advice is to find a personal voice and make your content distinguishable from others.

Today, there are no or few passive audiences. Customers rely on peers and create content on their own. By partnering with social influencers, brands could reach customers in ways that hopefully increases trust in the brand. Or in Christine’s words:

“Use the tool of human experience to get customer attention.”

Ideally, a brand ambassadorship should:

  • Strenghten relations with customers
  • Influence people to buy your product

From her experience as a brand ambassador, Christine gave the following advice in regards to ambassador programs.

Steps in building a brand ambassador program

Find the team – how to find your brand ambassadors

  • Hold a contest (have applicants create content)
  • Use a hashtag (see who is submitting the best content, that is of value to your brand)
  • Invite relevant social influencers (if you already know who is influential, invite them to participate)
  • Create a relationship (approach them with interest and offer)
  • Provide a contract (make it official, sort out the terms that also allows you to terminate the relationship)
  • Promote interaction and support between ambassadors

Beware of robots

  • Never use robots to attract an audience (stay clear of influencers who are using non-ethical ways of building a following)

Provide value and build spirit

  • Hold a retreat
  • Offer fair product trade or value
  • Share ambassadors profiles on your web site
  • Use exposure as an incentive for quality content

Activate with ambassadors

  • Utilize ambassadors in owned advertising assets (video/photo shoots)
  • Feature as models in campaigns
  • Create community events for ambassadors to attend or manage (so that customers can meet brand ambassadors)
  • Ticketed events where ambassadors attend (for example interested customers can pay to learn skills from ambassadors, like skiing)

Set expectations

  • Give social media training and training on brand voice and values
  • Share campaign launch information so that ambassadors remain informed
  • Enforce a  certain number of posts and collect data monthly

When brands start to engage with social influencers they can follow the ladder of social engagement, a model described by Tara Hunt. Read more about that process here.

ladder_of_social_engagement

Posted in Business, Marketing.

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Salvation Army ad nails it with THAT dress

About a week ago, the entire Internet was discussing whether a certain dress was white and gold or black and blue. Everyone was talking about it so this was a perfect situation to use for real-time marketing purposes. That’s exactly what the Salvation Army in South Africa did today with this tweet below, and boy did they nail it with this one!

The advert is part of the Salvation Army’s latest anti-domestic violence campaign.

Via Daily Mail.

Posted in Case Studies, Twitter.

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Selfie sticks banned in venues

Selfie sticks, those extendable poles that enable users to take selfies beyond the normal reach of the arm, have become incredibly popular. Even the Beckhams use it. But as practical as they are to the user, they can also be annoying to others, for examples at concerts or sports events. Now several venues have started to introduce restrictions or outright banning the selfie stick.

Selfie Stick

Several major British music venues like O2 Arena and Wembley Arena in London have banned them citing safety and health reasons. More likely the reason is that they may disturb the experience of fellow visitors.

“”Selfie Sticks are not permitted at Academy Music Group venues. This is in keeping with our existing policy that prohibits the filming and photography during a performance with iPads and other tablet devices and includes any such obstructions for the satisfaction of other customers,” says the owners of the O2 arenas.

Sports stadiums like White Hart Lane and Emirates Stadium in London have also imposed bans on selfie sticks. And now there are also restrictions to the use of selfie sticks during the Australian Open in tennis in Melbourne for fear that they may distract players. Others voice concern over the use of the extension pole on for example Disney theme parks and call for restrictions.

It may seem ridiculous at first that there is a need for a selfie stick ban, we should be able to handle this by applying common sense, right? And while I’m not a fan of banning, we know that common sense is not all that common. Instead, there is a real risk that the selfie stick becomes a selfish stick when users do everything to get a great photo at the expense of everyone else. With that said, anything could be used inappropriately. Banning sticks is a bit of an overreaction to me. What do you think?

Posted in Marketing.

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The most commented post on Instagram ever has 400,000 comments and tagged 3 million users

Earlier this year, Kim Kardashian posted a photo from her wedding with Kanye West. It became the most liked photo on Instagram ever with more than 2.4 million likes to date.

However, it is not the Instagram post with most comments. Kardashian’s image has about 57,000 comments but last week a video was posted that currently has many times more than that. Apparently spammers are finding new ways to spam Instagram after the social network recently deleted millions of spam accounts.

More than 3 million user names tagged
The video below is used to post thousands of comments that each tag about 8 user names. This is done by using hundreds of fake accounts that post these comments. If you are tagged on Instagram you usually check out who did it and what they say.

Tag people on Instagram spam

So by using this technique, spammers have now posted more than 400,000 comments and thereby tagged about 3 million user names.

Instagram most commented photo/video

Some people got mad at Instagram for deleting fake accounts so that many saw their follower counts drop significantly. But the video above shows have Instagram continuously has to monitor against spammers and take measures to fight them. I am only amazed that a spammer has been able to tag so many people without being deleted. I would imagine that many people have already reported both the post and the account as spam.

Posted in Marketing.

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How to install the drop down menu for suggested accounts on Instagram

A while back, Instagram introduced a new feature where you would see an arrow and a drop down menu next to the follow button on some Instagram accounts. The menu shows other accounts that are similar to the one you are looking at. But not every account had this menu and it was unclear who got it. I speculated that only accounts with a certain number of followers got it, but now I think I have found the solution.

 

If you log in to your Instagram account on a desktop and edit your profile you will find a box at the bottom of that page. If you tick the box that says “suggested accounts” then Instagram will add the arrow and the drop down menu to your account. This also means that your account will appear on other similar profiles as a suggested account. Please note that you need to have a public profile in order for this to work.

I tried it myself and logged in to a second account to see if it worked. I already had the menu on my profile which looked like this.

Instagram

When I unticked the box the arrow disappeared.

Instagram

I then went back again and ticked the box and the arrow came back.

Does this work for you? (Note: you can’t see it if you look at your own account)

Follow me on Instagram at @kullin

UPDATE 2: Even if you follow the description above, it doesn’t mean that you automatically will get the arrow. Some do and some don’t and at the moment I have not been able to figure out why.

UPDATE: There is a rumour that if you don’t have the arrow on your account it will be deleted on Jan 1, 2015. This is just a hoax, possibly started by this account seen below. Your account won’t be deleted and you don’t need to get it verified. Help by reporting this account as spam to Instagram. Click here.

Scammers on Instagram.

Posted in Marketing.

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Uber surge pricing during Sydney hostage crisis causes PR disaster

The week has barely started yet, but we can already crown the worst corporate tweet of the week. A crisis is taking place in Sydney, Australia as an armed man holds several people hostage in a Lindt café. The busy district is in a lock-down and mass evacuations created an increased demand for taxi services. So Uber, the taxi service app, quadrupled prices and at one point charged a minimum fare of AU$100. According to Quartz, this type of surge pricing is automatic but the tweet from @uber_sydney that followed was not.

uber_sydney_tweet

 

Of course, Uber was immediately slammed on Twitter for its cynic decision to charge a higher price during a crisis situation. Here are just a few reactions:

Uber soon had to backtrack to damage the PR disaster it had caused. A new tweet announced that rides out of Sydney now where free and that the company instead would refund passengers who had taken the expensive rides earlier this morning. A good move, but the damage to the company reputation had already been done.

uber_sydney_tweet2

 

Posted in Crisis, PR, Twitter.

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